Safe Harbor Agreement: A Regulatory Assurance under the Endangered Species Act
Red cockaded woodpecker


Endangered Species Act


How to Cite

Kreye, Melissa M., Elizabeth F. Pienaar, Raoul K. Boughton, and Lindsey Wiggins. 2016. “Safe Harbor Agreement: A Regulatory Assurance under the Endangered Species Act: WEC358/UW403, 12/2015”. EDIS 2016 (1). Gainesville, FL:3.


The involvement of the private sector is critical for the conservation and recovery of many species, but landowners’ fears that increased management restrictions could keep them from enjoying their land can present a challenge to securing their trust and assistance in conservation efforts. A Safe Harbor Agreement is a regulatory assurance that removes the risk of additional regulation in the future and encourages landowners to maintain important habitat on their lands. This 3-page publication provides Extension agents, decision-makers, and landowners with a basic understanding of a landowner’s obligations and the benefits of enrolling. Written by Melissa M. Kreye, Elizabeth F. Pienaar, Raoul K. Boughton, and Lindsey Wiggins, and published by the Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Department, December 2015.


Bean, M. J. 1998. "The Endangered Species Act and private land: four lessons learned from the past quarter century." Environmental Law Reporter News and Analysis 28: 10701-10710.

Kishida, D. H. 2001. "Safe Harbor Agreements under the Endangered Species Act: Are They Right for Hawai'i." U. Haw. L. Rev. 23: 507.

USFWS. 2013. Endangered Species Act. Accessed June 1, 2015 at

USFWS. 2014. Enhancement of Survival Permits. Accessed June 29, 2014 at

Langpap, C., and J. Wu. 2004. "Voluntary conservation of endangered species: when does no regulatory assurance mean no conservation?" Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 47(3): 435-457.

Lueck, D., and J. A. Michael. 2000. Preemptive habitat destruction under the Endangered Species Act. Available at SSRN 223871.

Stroup, R. L. 1997. "The economics of compensating property owners." Contemporary Economic Policy 15(4): 55-65.